From Cinema Center Films
Directed by William Friedkin
Robert La Tourneaux
My 7th favorite film of alltime is likely to be my most personal posting. Very few films, no matter how astonishing I may find them to be, have affected me so personally. This film started an upheaval in my life from which there was to be no return.
It was written by Mart Crowley (on the left with his cast in the above picture) who had bounced around Hollywood for a few years, never really nailing down anything he wanted to do while working for Natalie Wood as her secretary/majordomo. He wanted to write but it all remained pretty murky when one day Wood told him he needed to get off his butt and do something about it. She continued to employ him with lots of time off to tinker and manage his dangling modifiers. He scribbled down much of his own story and people he knew. He opted to write it as a play and the actress would help finance it.
most remember Emory. Stunningly played by Cliff Gorman, Emory is the flamboyant one and every gay party has an Emory. Over the years there has been much guessing over which actors are really gay and which are not. One who was not was Gorman, but it has never ceased to amaze me that a straight guy could play this role so convincingly. One character refers to him as a butterfly in heat as he flits and sashays throughout the party. He, too, delivers some of the film's funniest lines, and in fact, when the going gets rough with some of the others, it is Emory who brings us all back with some outrageously funny line.
Keith Prentice plays the other half of the partnership, fashion photographer Larry and he and Hank are friends of Harold's. He may sometimes be tied up but he will never be tied down. He likes 'em all, one after the other but one at a time. He drives Hank crazy and jealous with his infidelity. I thought the partners' scenes together were magnificent.
Reuben Greene, as Bernard, the only black in the group, is a bookseller at Doubleday's who loans books to his friend Donald. Bernard is dashing and confident in the beginning but ends up hopelessly drunk as he deals with self-esteem issues and the embarrassment of a phone call during Michael's party games. The fun Michael makes of him is some of the most blistering dialogue. It still makes me very uncomfortable after all these years and viewings.
And last is handsome Robert La Tourneaux, as Cowboy, who is Harold's gift from Emory. He is a hustler who has been bought for $20. Every good gay party has, if not a hustler, certainly one or two sex gods who have an awareness of how to best pedal their wares. His role provides an outlet for Michael's scornful enmity and for some others' funniest lines.
Finally, here is a rather long, rather R-rated clip that will either introduce you to or provide some renewed fondness for this movie.
Review of Gravity